Chitinase genes and gene products in pines

Chitinases are hydrolytic enzymes that are thought to play an i mportant role in plant defense against pathogenic fungi, and potentially in guiding normal plant growth and development. We are investigating chitinase genes and gene products at the nucleic acid and protein levels. At the nucleic acid level, we have previously cloned chitinase sequences from pine using PCR, and used one of the amplification products as a probe to screen a genomic library. Based on preliminary sequence data, the genes are more similar to extracellular chitinases from herbaceous plants than to vacuolar forms. At the protein level, we found that chitosan elicits increases in both extracellular and intracellular chitinase activities in suspension cultured cells. The suspension cultures should prove useful for bulk purification of extracellular and vacuolar chitinases.

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Author(s): John M. Davis, M. P. Popp, C. S. Echt

Publication: Tree Improvement and Genetics - Southern Forest Tree Improvement Conference - 1993

Section: Concurrent Session 7: Breeding and Progeny Testing

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